Whether you work from home or run your own business, finding a dedicated space to do your work is essential to achieving work-life balance. While many homeowners consider remodeling their home to create a suitable workspace, a garage can easily serve as a home office, without the hassle, time, and mess of a home renovation project.
Garage spaces are separate from your home, too, providing the perfect option if you need to meet with clients or simply want a quiet space away from the hustle and bustle of your normal household. Adding a detached garage can provide even more privacy.
Ready to get started converting your garage into a productive home office? Read on for our best tips and tricks.
Preparing Your Garage Space
Unlike other rooms in your home, your garage probably doesn’t have much insulation to keep cold air out and warm air in. Before you consider options for heating and cooling, it’s important to insulate the walls to reduce your heating and cooling costs.
Insulation will also serve as an effective sound buffer, muffling sounds from passing traffic or other outside noises, creating a less distracting office environment.
There are many types of insulation from standard fiberglass and cellulose insulation to rigid foam sheets and spray insulation.
Adding insulation is an easy task for most do-it-yourselfers. Just be sure you seal holes and crevices that allow air in, especially around windows and garage doors, before you install the insulation. A low-expanding spray foam works great for this.
One of the biggest considerations you’ll face when converting a garage into your home office is heating and cooling options. You’ll want to be sure your office space is comfortable to work in year-round. There are many options to heat your garage, whether your garage is a separate building or attached to your home.
Radiant floor heating, ductless mini-split systems, and electric space heaters are all popular options for home office heating since they are relatively quiet and don’t emit offensive odors. If you have an attached garage, you might also consider connecting your garage to your home’s main heating and cooling system. You’ll want to discuss all of the options with an HVAC contractor to weigh the pros and cons.
Proper lighting in your office work space is essential for productivity and comfort. Natural light is best, but you can also use artificial light sources if your garage has small windows or no windows at all. Invest in good overhead lighting to light the entire space, along with dedicated lamps for task lighting.
At Newmart Builders, our prefabricated garages can be customized with larger windows or even a skylight to provide essential natural light to your space.
Most garages come with unfinished walls that aren’t suitable for most office environments. That means you’ll want to finish the walls to make your garage feel more like an office.
There are several options for finishing your garage walls including drywall, plywood, vinyl, and metal wall options. Vinyl and metal are particularly desirable if you live in a hot, humid climate since they resist moisture.
Your choice of wall finishing material will likely come down to your available budget and personal preferences. Drywall and plywood options are good choices if you want to paint your walls for a more personalized look and feel.
While most garages do have electricity for lighting or to power a garage door opener, when you convert your garage to an office, you’ll likely need more outlets. You’ll want to look at the current number of available outlets and see how they might meet your needs.
Consider a dedicated outlet for computer equipment, internet router, printer, and device charging. You’ll likely need additional outlets for lighting or other office accessories.
If you choose to install a new, prefabricated garage, you can often add an electrical package as an upgrade. Just be sure to mention that your garage will be used as an office when working with your sales person.
Designing a Functional Office
Make a List of Critical Needs
When it’s time to move into your new office, you’ll want to have your most basic needs covered. Your list should include a desk, computer, printer, and phone.
When planning for office furniture, consider how you’ll use the space.
Do you need additional desk space to lay out artwork, designs, or building plans, or will you do most of your work at your computer?
Are you a consultant, attorney, or
therapist who needs to store client files?
Be sure to add a sturdy filing cabinet to your list of needs.
Will you need seating for clients?
Plan on adding a couch or guest chairs to make client meetings comfortable.
What items will you need to store?
It’s always a good idea to plan where you will store computer paper, file folders, and other common office supplies. Choose a setup that keeps your supplies organized and within easy reach.
Don’t Skimp on Your Office Chair
If you’ll be sitting in front of your computer for most of the day, invest in a comfortable chair with plenty of back support. The money you spend here will pay big dividends in comfort and productivity.
You might also consider investing in an adjustable standing desk, so you can spend part of the day seated, and the other standing.
Decorate with Inspiring Colors
One of the simplest ways to personalize your office and make it a place you love to work is to paint your walls with a color you love. It doesn’t cost much to add a fresh coat of paint, and the color you choose just might make you smile each time you sit down to get to work.
While some choose to decorate their home offices with soothing colors, be sure the color you choose isn’t so calming that it invites you to take a nap.
Don’t forget to carry your color scheme throughout the room with throw rugs, framed pictures, pillows, or other accents to make the space truly YOU.
While converting your garage into a home office is far from simple, in many cases, it’s much easier and more cost-effective than remodeling your home to add the space you need. Especially when you invest in a new steel garage from Newmart Builders. Our prefabricated garages can be configured to your exact specifications, upgraded with a variety of options, and delivered fully assembled to your home, anywhere in the eastern United States. Located in South Hill, VA, Newmart Builders has been manufacturing metal garages, sheds, barns, and carports since 1999. Family owned and operated, we manufacture all of our buildings in the United States using American steel. Contact us today to get started on your unique garage, office, or workshop!